City council’s share of tax to rise by almost 44%

SALISBURY households will see an increase in the city council’s share of their council tax bill of almost 44% in a bid to balance the books.

Salisbury City Council approved its budget proposals for 2023/24, including the rise in its share of council tax bills, on Monday (January 16).
The council says it needs to raise a total of more than £5.1 million through council tax in order to continue providing services.
The increase sees the city council’s share of council tax bills rise from £233 last year to £335 – a 43.8% increase – for a Band D property. Bills for Band C properties – the most common in Salisbury – rise from £207.08 to £297.78.
But council chiefs said it was not a ‘fancy budget’ and that cuts had been made in a number of areas in order to balance the books and replenish reserves.
A statement from leaders of the council – Cllr Victoria Charleston, Cllr Ian Tomes and Cllr Annie Riddle – said: “This is not a party political budget. It is a balanced budget. The city council’s reserves cannot be raided. They are already at the minimum level, and must be rebuilt.
“Like households and businesses everywhere in this economic crisis, we face hugely increased costs.
“Ours include the management of assets such as the Poultry Cross, where insurance will not cover all the repairs found to be needed after last year’s car crash, and upgrading our public toilets and playgrounds.”
Staffing had seen significant increases, they said, including bringing grounds and Street Scene operations back in-house and an average wage increase of 8% for council staff.
“Since our previous budget in January 2022, we’ve had an increase of 223% in our electricity charges, 208% on gas and 50% on water and sewerage,” the leaders said.
“Combined, these take our utility bills over half a million pounds.
“We’ve had a nationally agreed pay rise for staff averaging 8%, with another 4% allowed for in the next financial year.
“Our insurance has more than doubled to £160,000. And we’re facing an unknown rise in business rates in April. We also have to pay higher employers’ pension contributions – up from 11.1 to 13.7%.”
Only much-needed community services would escape cuts, they added, with some initiatives being cut altogether, or given reduced budgets.
“We are not funding any fancy new projects,” they said. “We are maintaining much-needed community services such as the Pantry and looking at co-working with a charity to reduce our overheads.
“We have reduced or cut entirely spending on other things which are not our core responsibility, such as city centre security guards, policing of litter louts, and public art.
“We have cut £10,000 from the Neighbourhood Plan budget, reduced spending on floral displays, ring road cleansing, the Future Salisbury group which promotes the city, and on our Christmas and summer events budget (down 10%).
“We have repeatedly invited the Conservatives to share in the council’s joint administration but they say they prefer to be in opposition.
“Nonetheless, we invited them to join us in preparing this budget. They didn’t even reply.”
The budget came as Wiltshire Council announced it planned to increase its council tax demand, as well as social rents, in its budget proposals. (


  1. Cecilia Reply

    With an 8% pay rise for Council staff, generous in the present climate, I hope we can count on an excellent and efficient service at all times, with acceptance of responsibility rather than costly delegation to sub contractors

    A professional accountant engaged as an adviser could possibly help the Council reduce expenditure without compromising on services.
    There has been a lot of waste in the last few years through for example digging up and filling in roads several times over, which might have been avoided with joint consultations and timely inspections.

    I understand the conservatives did put forward budget proposals

  2. Graham C Reply

    It is a shame that the Tories would rather play party politics than work with Labour – but I’m not surprised. Still, reading through the article, I was struck that the City Council’s long list of rising costs will be echoed by so many of the people living in Salisbury. The Council has now increased our costs even more, of course, but – sadly – neither I nor nor most other people in Salisbury have the option following their example by taking extra cash out of somebody else’s pocket. In reality, though, this is not a local problem – it’s simply another central government ‘stealth tax’ – cutting support in real terms to local government and ignoring the consequences. But this will happen more and more, now we have a Chancellor telling the Prime Minister what to do, rather than the other way around. The UK really is starting to feel like a third world country, isn’t it?

  3. steven taylor Reply

    how in gods name as some one that lives on is state pension am I going to be able to pay this ingress in the council tax this is madness thank you councillors for making thinks even harder with a big rise in water rates going up on top of this I might as well be dead

  4. Leon Smigielski Reply

    All I would like to know is where is all this extra money going to be spent?? As I see it all these rises, Gas, Electricity, Water and now Council Tax. All that is happening is more and more people will be pushed into poverty. Wages are in no way keeping up with inflation.Just imagine if your everyday worker and tax payer was to be awarded a 44% pay rise. That would be per year and not spread over 10 or more years. Which is what the current rate is. The UK tax payer is being crucified due to the inadequacies of firstly Parliament and secondly by the local councils. When will it end and be a country that looks after its own kind???

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